The influence of laser radiation was evaluated relative to the color and major chemical component changes of three hardwood species. The surfaces of maple (Acer pseudoplatanus L.), beech (Fagus sylvatica L.), and lime (i.e. linden, Tilia vulgaris) wood were exposed to radiation from a CO2 laser (wavelength = 10.6 µm, output power = 45 W). It was observed that increased doses of irradiation resulted in a decrease in the lightness (L*), increase in the total color difference, and a drop in the total polysaccharide content. Compared with the non-irradiated specimens, the ΔL* values at the highest irradiation doses were −56 (maple), −46.8 (beech), and −50.5 (lime). The trends observed in the FTIR spectra also showed there was a relationship between the breaking of C=O and C=C bonds in important functional groups in the lignin, hemicellulose, and carbohydrates. A highly linear correlation (R2 from 0.902 to 0.987) was observed between the increase in the ΔL* and decrease in the hemicellulose content, which degrades faster than other basic wood components. Such a phenomenon may have been related to the formation of new chromophore structures, which caused the color changes in the wood.